Retrospeculative TV

RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Man From Atlantis: “Scavenger Hunt” (Season 2, Episode 10)

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I don’t have too much to say about this one, other than it isn’t completely terrible (Though unintentionally hilarious at one point), and it probably would have made a fair Fourth Season episode of Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea or a second season SeaQuest episode. Both those shows appeared to have more-or-less given up on trying to do anything non-ludicrous by that period, but they still managed to entertain (Infrequently).

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Space:1999 : "The Black Sun" (Season 1, Episode 3)

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This week, we visit a ‘Black Sun’... an astrophysical impossibility, but since when did that ever stop a science fiction TV show?

 

Since this is the Seventies, and we are more interested in the story than the science (or at least that’s what they tell us), let’s take a peek, shall we?

 

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Man From Atlantis: “CW Hyde” (Season 2, Episode 9)

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Before we begin, I’d like to explain something. “Retrospeculative TV” was intended to be a once-weekly feature, but, seeing as it started in the winter doldrums at the start of the year, there really wasn’t enough new material on TV to cover, so we thought we’d pad things out a bit (read: “Entirely too much”) by doing it on two days a week until the season picked up again. Owing to my rather bad math skills, I didn’t quite realize that 17 episodes translated into four months and one week. Duh. Even now, I had to use a calculator to figure that out.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Man From Atlantis: “The Naked Montague” (Season 2, Episode 8)

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There comes a time in every geek’s life when he or she (But more likely he) realizes he’s had enough, that the show he had so much hope for has let him down in such a way that it isn’t coming back. Sadly, this is a common experience, though it tends to happen more as we get older. It makes sense, right? We’ve seen things a million times, some ideas just begin to bore us they get repeated so much, our eyes get sharper to special effects and we realize what’s good and what’s slapdash, you can spot a variation on a theme you’re already sick of a mile away, that kind of thing.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Man From Atlantis: “Crystal Water, Sudden Death” (Season 2, Episode 7)

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Oh, thank God: Mister Schubert is back. I realize he’s a hopelessly overused villain, but he’s a significant presence and his episodes generally have some kind of a plot, no matter how thin it may be. After the last couple of just-jerking-around episodes, I’m happy to see something with a little more narrative drive to it. Also: Shubert is no longer a comedic buffoon. He’s back in amiable badass mode. This is, by the way, his sixth appearance in the series, his fifth this season.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Man From Atlantis: “Shootout At Land’s End” (Season 2, Episode 6)

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I guess if I had to pick one thing about the ocean as my favorite - wow, it’d be hard to choose, wouldn’t it? - I guess, probably the thing I like most about it is the preponderance of time-portals that litter the sea floor, allowing passage to the 1880s, although gateways to alternate dimensions populated only by NBA stars is probably a close second. How about you? What’s your favorite thing about the ocean.

Yeah, that’s right, kids, Man From Atlantis’ crazy rollercoaster ride from interesting idea to utter incoherence is definitely coming to a middle. Check this crap out:

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Retrospeculative TV: Space:1999:"Matter of Life and Death" (Season 1, Episode 2)

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Here I go, reviewing 35 year old TV shows again... this time, episode 2 of Space:1999. I will eventually be reviewing all of Season One (even though I kind of like the spiffy jackets on Season 2) But in this episode, we get to visit a planet! How does that work out for the Alphans? Not too good....

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Man From Atlantis: “Man Of War” (Season 2, Episode 5)

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Ah, memory, how you fail me in my dotage. At first I was absolutely certain I hadn’t seen this episode, but suddenly - out of nowhere - comes a line of dialog I remember, and then nothing else. Aside from one brief conversation in the middle of this episode, I have no memory of it whatsoever, but I know I must have seen it. That’s disquieting.

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THIS USED TO BE THE FUTURE: "Men Into Space" (1959)

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The purpose of this column is to show us cool crap that people thought the future would be like, which, alas, never happened. "Men Into Space" more than qualifies. While there had been SF shows on TV almost since its inception, and not all of them were bad, it was definitely a low-budget affair aimed at kids. "Men Into Space" was the first such show that attempted to make space interesting and entertaining for adults, and to be mildly educational as well.

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